AboutTraditional or contemporary, it can be brought into play within the process of the construction or deconstruction of an identity. As a support for creativity, disguise, or dissimulation, it opens up new horizons for its wearer.
In Romania, practices around masks form part of an ancient tradition, dating back to pagan rites that celebrated the cycles of life and the seasons and appealed to gods and demons.
Taking the motif of the mask as a starting point, the exhibition, devised by curator Diana Marincu, suggests a new approach to the question of multiple identities. Mixing contemporary art, folklore and popular arts, it confronts traditional Romanian objects from the collections of the Mucem with the works of eight Romanian artists of different generations: Ioana Bătrânu, Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan, Răzvan Botiş, Mircea Cantor, Olivia Mihălţianu, Anca Munteanu Rîmnic, and Ioana Nemeş. It presents drawings, installations, sculptures, photographs, videos, and original works created specially for this project.
The exhibition first considers the links between ethnographic heritage and rites of folklore and mythology, before proposing a broad critical examination of national, cultural, and ethnic affiliations. Made up of different stories that question the nuances between local particularity and universal character, it presents a panorama of the most significant artistic engagements of Romanian art today.